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Tuesday, June 20, 2023
Indian River Hosts 70 Years of Service Celebration


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Indian River Hosts 70 Years of Service Celebrations


In Calendar Year 2023, the Indian River Volunteer Fire Company will celebrate its 70th Anniversary.

There will be a 70th Anniversary Celebration and Parade on Saturday, July 8, 2023.  The parade will commence at 10 a.m. through the Oak Orchard-Riverdale community, followed by a Celebration at approximately 11 a. at Indian River’s Main Station (fire house) on Oak Orchard Road.

The day’s activities will host activity demonstrations, community celebrations with foods, fun activities, fire prevention and safety information, apparatus and equipment displays, fire truck rides and much more.

It is anticipated that the Parade will assemble and line up along Chiefs Road between 8:30 a.m. thru 9:30 a.m. and the processional route being Chiefs Road  to River Road to Oak Orchard Road, ending at Indian River Fire Station in Oak Orchard.  During the day of the event, Chiefs Road will be accessible only from Oak Orchard without exception prior to the commencement of the parade.  The estimated travel path will be approximately 1.0 mile.

Once the parade commences, Chiefs Road will be utilized as the access to the path to and from the River Road area until the end of the parade ceremony.

As Co-Chair of the event, Linda Walls, reports that all residents and community friends are welcome to participate and/or attend the parade.  Please contact Linda Walls at [email protected], before the July 5, 2023, for further information, to register participation, or volunteer.  Ms. Walls also stated that this event is intended to bring together several area fire companies, ancillary support organizations, and business entities in the area.

Historical Information:

Seventy years ago, in 1953, various residents of Oak Orchard-Riverdale and Long Neck areas became concerned about the traveling distances and response time for nearest fire company responding to emergencies in our immediate area.  At that time, the nearest town were Millsboro, Lewes, and Rehoboth Beach.  The incident response travel time was the motivating criteria for these residents to pursue the formation of a new fire company to serve Oak Orchard, Riverdale, Long Neck and surrounding communities.

In March 1953, a formation committee filed documentation with the Delaware Secretary of State to form and be recognized as a legal entity.  The state recording and filing fees were $21 and this was the first check ever written by the Indian River Volunteer Fire Company.  It was at then that the Indian River Volunteer Fire Company was recognized as a rightful emergency service entity serving the entire Oak Orchard, Riverdale and Long Neck areas.

Capital Acquisitions

In April of 1953, the fire company representatives exercised a $50 option to acquire land for $700 from Margaret Phillips and approved the acquisition of a 1946 Dodge truck from C. D. Sapp to operate as a water wagon and the water tank being purchased from the Pure Oil Company for $1.  This was the first piece of apparatus acquired and operated by the Indian River Volunteer Fire Company.  The second fire truck, a 1926 Reo Fire Truck, was acquired from Rehoboth Beach Volunteer Fire Company for $2 in May 1953.  The third truck, a 1942 Chevrolet Truck, was financed in August 1953 by offering $300 down and $35 per month for 30 months.  This was the original fleet of apparatus serving the Indian River Fire District.

Over the years, the fire company has grown and now encompasses two facilities with one being in Oak Orchard and one in Long Neck and host a cadre of 125 volunteers that primarily serve the fire district.

By the end of Calendar Year 2022, the fire company’s fleet compromised of two Class A Engine/Pumpers; two marine units; one brush truck; five utility vehicles; one Class A - 2,500 gallon Engine/Tanker; one Class A Rescue/Pumper; one 100' aerial truck; two all-terrain units (ATV); two specialty trailers; one duty officer vehicle; and a chief's vehicle. 

Please accept this invitation to join us for our 70th Celebration and Parade event as well as fellowship back at the fire station.    Please respond with your attendance and/or participation desire by contacting Linda Walls at [email protected] no later than June 30, 2023.